25 May, 2022


FCID’s Unintended Consequences; Resulting In Bureaucratic Quagmire!

By Vishwamithra1984

In a free society, the ‘vision thing’ is left to private individuals; civil servants are kept on a tight leash, because free people understand that a ‘visionary’ bureaucrat is a voracious one and that the grander the government…the poorer and less free the people.” ~Ilana Mercer

A lackluster, sluggish and thoroughly uncreative bureaucracy has been waiting for an excuse. And they got it- FCID. For the most inexcusable delay in getting things done, the Sri Lankan bureaucracy which was merely a ready, willing and handy and convenient tool in the hands of politicians in the standard (or sub-standard) of the last regime of the Rajapaksa’s, has become one of the most powerful yet caustic and encumbering forces in the present government, not as a positive driver of policies, nor as an exemplary force in government administration upon which hundreds of thousands of general masses depend, but as an authoritative, negative force in obstructing the general movement of businesses directly or vicariously related to government.

As per Wikipedia, ‘Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) is the law enforcement agency of the Sri Lankan government. It is tasked within Sri Lanka for financial crime investigations and law enforcement; it is a subsidiary agency of Sri Lanka Police Service’.

Apart from drilling fear and shame into the minds of corrupt politicians, FCID has also been responsible for creating a very apathetic and negative sensation in the present crop of civil servants, if we can call them such, a crop of bureaucrats that is primarily accountable for the circulation of a narrative that the current government led by President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is gipped with its own ineria of impotence and not capable of getting ‘things done’. However, it must be mentioned here that major part of the blame surely belongs in the laps of the Cabinet of Ministers too. While not making an iota of excuse for the political machinery of the current government, a more severe part of the blame must go to the officials who are charged with the actual execution of the jobs. Not that the last regime of the Rajapaksas had a more solid and energetic set of bureaucrats. They had this same lot. But what was absent from that past regime is what is embedded within the concept of ‘Yahapalanaya’, good governance. Here again, I must say that there isn’t any tangible evidence of Yahapalanaya to write home about.

Instead of beginning the day with a positive mindset- discovering an excuse to win, finding an excuse how to do the job, our civil servants are apparently bogged down in a pit of unwillingness to learn how to do a job! They are not here to solve issues relating to atomic research, nor are they engaged in rocket science, though some in the Ministry of Science and Technology may be. But as a vast majority of our present bureaucracy has not realized the truism that if you fail, never mind, do it again and again and again until you get it right and moving. Every man’s lifelong ambition is an expression of that eternal yearning, find an excuse to excel.

But in what context is this excellence needs to be attained? Whether the context is positive or negative, the action taken within that context has to be shaped and molded to produce positive results. No SLAS seminar or workshop would teach that primary mindset of an officer who needs to have to execute a job. If all they have is what they have inherited from their parents, teachers, friends and associates, then the game is lost, the whole enchilada is rotten and uneatable. The professional training would lend one the objective material in order to do a job; it may lend the training how to proceed from A to B in a given context. But it would not lend the inner strength that one has to use to turn that training into results. What is missing from beneath the so-called efficient exterior is that inner strength, that creative mindset, that craving to exceed excellence. And that is indeed sad and tragic.

In an age in which scientists explore the secrets beneath the ice in Antarctica, in which astronauts spread their wings of investigations into the eternal space of the skies, in which Indian whiz-kids in the Silicon Valley are testing the very validity of algorithms to master the behavior of the stock market prices, our bureaucrats are busy calculating the miles allowed per month on a vehicle used by an even more senior bureaucrat. In fact, as was intimated to me personally, this happened to a very senior officer serving in one of the Ministries today. Having lost all sense of proportion, instead of thinking afresh and big, they have succumbed to mere micromanaging of rudimentary issues which our olden-day civil servants used to delegate to a Chief Clerk. They have got used to thinking not small but puny.

This loss of space and time by our modern-day civil servants has paved the way for our politicians to interfere into a land where they have no navigational skills, nor any guiding compass. Left unto themselves, our bureaucrats would be capable of writing theses of how not to do a job. For them, the Temple of Service has become a shallow and empty shrine where the ancient relics and vestiges of the past are worshipped as omniscient and sanctified. Little do they know that a service once manned and managed by unreservedly imaginative and creative minds that were the best in the country, has become a living example of mediocrity. Into this mindset, when a hardening tool as FCID is introduced, these vultures of residue of the last regime, a glorious excuse is found in order not to execute the least harmful legislation, regulation or law.

This is the entrapment the current government willy-nilly set at the foot of our lethargic bureaucracy. As much as the landmark law that was introduced yesteryear by Felix Dias Bandaranaike in the then government headed by late Sirimavo Bandaranaike, under the guise of Administration of Justice Law no. 44 of 1973 was greatly injurious to the democratic genre of constitutional governing process that would have embraced accountability and transparency in the nineteen seventies, the modern-day FCID is a great tool in the hands of the government to discourage and deter blatantly corrupt practices of politicians and members of the civil service.

Wikipedia further iterates that ‘FCID was established by Minister of Public Order and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga on 26 February 2015 under the instructions from the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Financial Crimes Investigation Division is directly accountable for carrying out investigations throughout the island into serious financial fraud, misuse of state assets or funds, cases of a nature that require intellectual skills and complex detection. At times, the FCID carries out investigations pertaining to Government revenue. The FCID agencies are highly skilled in encountering the Major Financial Crimes, Frauds, Unsolicited Mega Projects, Major Financial Crimes against Public Property, Money Laundering, Terrorist financing and financial transaction, Illegal financial transaction, unlawful enrichments, and offences on financial crimes against National Security.

The FCID has utmost powers to arrest civilians, government workers and legislator from anywhere in Sri Lanka without getting approval from Attorney General or DIG of this unit. The suspect can be remanded by a Magistrate Court until further hearings. The Financial Crimes Investigation Division was formed on 26 February 2015 under the purview of Sri Lanka Police Service. FCID is directly responsible in handling the investigations on the corruption charges against the Rajapaksa Administration and the public service that involved in large-scale corruption which led to destabilize the Government revenue. FCID has also arrested several high profile ministers of Rajapaksa Administration including former Economy Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa’.

It is against these actions of FCID that opposition has manifested itself from the so-called Joint Opposition. Some of the leading members of the Joint Opposition, in fact, have been subjected to the vigorous examination of FCID and they have been remanded or action has been filed against them.

According to ‘the Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook’, “the judicial crisis of the early 1970s also served to promote long-term reforms that had been under consideration for more than twenty years. In 1973 the parliament passed the Administration of Justice Law, a bill to reorganize the entire judicial system…after Bandaranaike’s defeat in the 1977 elections, the new United National Party government and five chapters of the Administration of Justice Law, two (on criminal procedure and appeals) were replaced by the Code of Criminal Procedure Act of 1979, and a third (on the judiciary) was substantially amended by the 1978 Constitution”.

But there is a marked difference between then and now. In the seventies, our bureaucracy was manned by some extremely qualified and motivated civil servants. Now it’s the total opposite. Demanding a rigorous revamping of our bureaucracy is not as ludicrous as asking for ‘rice from the Moon’, I suppose.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 3

    I hope the author has not forgotten who updates wikipedia, which he quotes extensively in this article.

    The FCID and PRESIFAC were classic knee-jerk reactions to the mountain of financial crimes, the incoming UNP/SLFP combine alleged happened under the Rajapakses. As the files were being put together, what was discovered was that many in the incoming Cabinet were party to the looting and thievery that had taken place. Picking and choosing survivors has become a comedy in itself, with a circle of suspects being threatened and/or paraded whenever there was a need for distraction. IF, if the legal and enforcement entities are allowed to do their tasks, we would have most of the current cabinet enjoying the comforts of Welikade along with a majority of the Rajapakse clan.

    This manipulation of the legal process has now morphed into a control of MP’s and their families. Those already in the govt’s corner are assured of relative safety, and those in the JO ranks are constantly being threatened with arrest. The President has obviously realised this does not augur well for the miscreants he is harbouring in his corner, and has been making some very interesting comments aimed at protecting his ‘people’.

    Ranil Wicremesinghe has allowed the dirty laundry of others to be washed, whilst getting his laundry only dry cleaned! His reading prowess has probably not enlightened him to the stage of realisation that life is a process and the wheels keep turning for everyone….including him!

    • 4

      Vishwa: No point blaming the corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy because it is the political masters who have appointed the wrong people.
      We need to contextualize the FCID debacle in the global Financial System itself, which is is corrupt to the core. Its rules are written by the IMF and Washington DC to benefit the global 1 percent also by enabling money laundering from the Glo0bal south by corrupt politicians via networks of off shore secret bank accounts and enable looting of global south.

      The buck stops with Ranil Wickramasinghe: Ranil should have asked the right wing Millennium Challenge Corporation and their Harvard University Advisors on international development, and the IMF which is supposed to do global financial governance, to trace and return funds looted by MR and corrupt politicians, that are kept in secret banks accounts overseas, so Sri Lanka can pay off some of the national debt caused by political corruption and FAKE DEVELOPMENT projects, rather than borrowing more from IMF and dancing to its tunes and loading VAT onto poor people.

      The buck stops with Ranil for the economic crisis in Sri Lanka today, as he has magnified it 10 fold with Ravi K who lacks the skills and is corrupt, and promoted a CULTURE OF IMPUNITY FOR CORRUPTION and financial crimes with the BOND SCAM, while increased salaries and perks of the gigantic and corrupt Cabinet of clowns:
      1. Appointed a corrupt crook UNP’s Avant Guard, Wijedasa Rajapaksa as Minister of Justice. Wijedasa is blocking corruption investigations and is playing racist politics with Buddhist monks.
      2. Ranil has been promoting a culture of IMPUNITY FOR FINANCIAL CRIMES and FAKE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT with a cabal of unqualified economic hit men who know nothing about Sustainable development that benefits people and environment – Malik and co.
      3. Ranil Looted the Central Bank with the Bond Scam via his Royal College buddy Arjuna Mahendran
      4. Ranil is protecting the Mahinda Rajapaksa family as he did Wimal Weerawansa from corruption arrests and treats the people who voted for him with contempt and stole from the Cental Bank for his political career and UNP cronies in broad daylight. The buck stops with Ranil Wickramasinghe who constantly runs after the IMF and other debt-trap, so-called aid donors, who are partly responsible for the economic crisis along with Chinese loans to Mahinda Jarapassa. Meanwhile corrupt politicians are living high life with SUVs and creating more DEBT.

  • 2

    UNP F******CID which it’s leader created has become the bogey boy of Dr Batalanda Ranil. to muzzle our ace orators in the Opposition.

    Because these orators bring in Millions to anti Government rallies .

    On the corruption front UNP F****** CID has done F*** as the “domesticated Diasporians” who are cool would say.

    For example, Alsatian Rajitha , the guard dog of Yahapalanaya and Dr Batalanda Ranil’s Chief adviser on Muslim vote base and how to control the poor Sinhala Buddhists has given a public an eye witness account of the stolen dollars in Arab banks.

    His pup, and Dr Batalanda Ranil’s God Son, the young Senarathna , in fact seconded, sorry attested to Dad’s evidence by mentioning the exact amount of the hoarded Dollars, which he swore that he saw with his own eyes,lying in the Arab bank Vault.

    Then the God Son as late as last week told the Colombo Media that he counted himself, the the UNP Dollars which was handed to JVP Prince at the last Election.

    Isn’t it a bribe or just Santhosams.

    Did the F****CID take a statement from the God Son?.

    Siripavan’s Yahapalana High Court even expressed their displeasure about the Coal Mafia in Abiththaya’s former Digs..

    Has the F*****CID done anything there?.

    Container Loads of Car parts are coming through the Customs to the bogus W Plant with no checks , because the UNP ministers sign the Customs Clearance documents,

    Any investigations?.

    Ethanol Mafia has even reduced the 220 ML local Tequila aka Medis Gal by 20 Bux to help convert the Dalits to the UNP.

    Has any Ethanol Mafia been interrogated?.

    May be the F*****CID has no time because they are too busy re Remanding and Releasing the Dalit Reps in the Opposition.

    • 3

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Because these orators bring in Millions to anti Government rallies”

      Did you mean Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa? Would you like the University of Colombo to confer an honorary Doctorate to him for the services he rendered for mathematics, something similar to the one conferred on Gota the nation’s hangman in chief?

      • 0

        Dear Native,

        It is more serious than what I thought.

        Whole Army Intelligence Unit, including retired officers have been rounded up by Dr Batalanda Ranil’s UNP CID.

        Our Deshapremi Wimale is the only Polly who has the balls to stand up to Batalanda Boy SSP Shani, who is on a contract to finish what Batalanda Ranil started in Athurugiriya with Mr Pirahaparan’s full support.

        Those B******s who are in Parliament driving Free Permit Pajeros and collecting special UNP Santhosams to protect Batalanda Ranil, wouldn’t have been around if not for those brave Intelligence Officers.

        Batalanda of course did not need protection.

        Don’t you think mate…

        • 0


          “Batalanda of course did not need protection.”

          The only one in whole of Sri Lanka who did not need any protection was Dr. Batalanda.

          Not even innocents like you and me or even native veddas

          Not even Rajayogi Sampanthan. unless he kept towing the line.


  • 0

    Politicians should be asked to state their Qualifications when they apply for the Position of an MP.

    Other Professionals have to state their Qualifications and Suitability when they apply for a Job Advertisement.

    As I see it, the Only Qualification that most Politicians seem to have, is the ability to Sway a Crowd, by Denigrating the Opposition, with their Proficiency in Verbosity!

  • 3

    John amaratunga himselg has ,llot of baggage. He has destroyed a walkaway buikt by the previous govt. but, Ranil was Silent.

    One newspaper accused FCID itself lied to the President Sirisena about the Nilwala project. Minister Vijayamuni soyza had hidden unspent money amountd Rs 4.2 Billion (4200 million). Why he was hiding it and why FCID was covering it ?

  • 3

    See the IGP’s salute in the photo.

    IT is like koka pennanawa to PM.

  • 1

    I extracted below:

    “The professional training would lend one the objective material in order to do a job…But it would not lend the inner strength that one has to use to turn that training into results. What is missing from beneath the so-called efficient exterior is that inner strength, that creative mindset, that craving to exceed excellence. And that is indeed sad and tragic”

    How true, and FCID is not an exception!

    Give employment visas to outsiders, let Lankans learn from them the work ethics responsibilities and discipline for few years.

  • 1

    Ranil is using cheap politics to advance himself. He was silent when the previous govt was plundering the country every way. At that Time, Ranil Wickramsinghe is not doing anything.

    Ranil Wickramsinghe’s voter base is Tamils, Muslims and Sinhala christians.

    that is why he locked about 60 monks and ask people in the south not to talk anything racist. Yet, he allows Tamil and muslim political parties in their names and to talk racism. That is why he did not send the legislation banning Racist talks through the parliament. wigmeswaran is talking racism every day. Yet, he has locked the That Venerable Monk in the jail in order to make muslims happy.

    He talks about Ten million jobs. All should be low quality jobs. Because, beer industry in Sri lanka is to make school children driunk. Big matches are to make school children drunkeard hooligans. Sri lanka does not have laws to chuildren drinking alcohol suepending attending the school when children are drunk.

    Sri lanka journalists are also dumb – idiots. they just write craps and nothing about what the country needs.

  • 2

    As the writer deals with State Officials, it would be appropriate to mention
    the secret activity of the Dual-citizenship Div. under Hon. Navin`s I/E Dept.

    Citizenship applications are directed into a data-base with 6 Clerks assigned
    to it. An under-hand activity has taken place in that when the Status-check is made on-line as provided for, the result shows most of the Tamil aplicants have been assigned as current citizenship holders of HONG KONG !!
    There email ID too are delibarately mis-typed, so contact is impossible. This
    forces the applicants to make persponal visits to expedite matters. That
    being the ulterior motive was to canvass bribes – in all such cases. Where
    the applicant sends a relative of his in Colombo to approach the Dept. he
    is told of various excuses, as the data cannot be traced, when he lives
    and works in Europe, but the Officials cannot trace the applicant anywhere – because it is hidden under HONG KONG and in a case I know, he was asked
    to come with Rs. 30,000/- for prompt clearance! To the Foreign applicant
    it is only 200 USD, which the Official knows will be easily paid. There is some who have paid Rs. One lakh and had his application dealt within one
    week of stay, and the Foreign Passport duly stamped as “Dual-Citizen”!
    The Minister is blind to this mafia-activity, run in a well-organized manner.
    This is futher encouraged by no one taking or accepting routine Transfers
    from this Dept. due to ease of corrupt-activity from the top to bottom.

  • 0

    This is a strong message to the one and only out spoken unbiased Politician we currently have in the gone bananas Island. Attention Mr.Azath Sally putting aside everything we all are very much aware how much of a powerful instrument your voice was that ended the ruthless regime. Nevertheless we have also noted successive regimes use you as their possessive door matt,and then once power is in their hands its people who are most undeserving who get appointments ,like Muzzamil and likes a useless cogger,who did sweet nothing as a mayor ,while MR was around he was shamelessly licking his boots now Ranil. There is not a Single politician in the Parliament today who is of any worthy of trust or respect. They have been talking of constitutional changes for decades and the only changes we seen are ones that let’s politician make slave out of the very people who vote them in and make more provisions to fill their pokckets ,their close friends and families.Whenever a transparent federal Administration is suggested both the ruling government and opposition get cold feet and drag the entire mass to the slaughter house ,boom ,there it goes in one voice the crooks stand united as one brotherhood only on this,they are so good at it even the most educated get trapped to believe federal means ultimately division of the country to independence. How dramitcally stupid can an 100% literate people can get ? Do they not have an independent mindset ? In this era of intellect and information available at the very finger tips of all of us at extremely affordable access,where every Tom ,Dick and Harry is in possession of a smart phone instead of taking the initiative to self educate one whenever politicians try to fool us of the often trumpeted anti federal system along with high profile individual’s Like Dayan shamlessly adding flavour to the lies. They should form groups and go online and study carefully what Federal means and look at countries that have the system and check the amount of people power it has given them and their achievements and if they have broken away as independent states,there is not an atom of sincerity on any Politician who refuses Federalism and who refuesrs to handover all commissions to exclusively public and not call it Presidential or any other fake cover up to politicalize it.Members of the Commission should be appointed by us the Citizens ,and it should not be members of politicians to use it as their convienent platform to bait the bait .enough is enough. As to conclude ,Mr.Azath Sally ,With due respect ,do you think you can make all that talk of yours walk ? Here is your probably a final opportunity to form a strong party and run for local government election all you need to do is bring in people young ,dynamic and who can think out of the box,secular to the core and fearless as you ,just secure at least one local government and prove your capabilities and the rest will follow. We are disgusted and have lost all hopes of any future for the young. A country where Students have become goons and thugs and nothing can be done ,simple when everyone is only interested in filling their pockets ,where will they dare to put an end to thuggery, Mafia, murder, Smuggling in container loads, drugs ,textile s .Ciggertes ,cosmatics ,wevate doomedm from dying pan to the fire indeed.

  • 0

    [Edited out]

  • 0

    Pardon ,the final statement to be read as… We are doomed from frying Pan to the fire indeed.

    The one & only Leader who deserve a little bit of of credit ever is CBK.as far as I can recall it is only during her period the economy was stable even with a internal terror war being faught ,it was during her time all Citizens were treated with true equality ,in employement business to credit facilities from banks without racism.

    It was CBK who rightfully chased the tigers deep into the jungle where they truly belong ,She nearly sacrificed her life for the nation and survived with the loss of an eye ,She did not give up ,with all the bullying being a Widow and alone she has withstood all the abuses and been a key player to turn tables and give the present rulers an opportunity and they have failed miserably, while she has proven to be The only leader deserving some respect,trust and affection of the land, We can proudly call Madam Her Excellency (Ex) yet and remember her in that way forever.

  • 0

    Sri Lanka’s Socalled Commissions probing Corruption, investigation of abduction murder&Ransom will soon find itself at the top most position of Humour in the world , There is not one single language in the world that can describe this circuss than the Singhalese Language. Naduth Hamadurwange -Baduth Hamadurange … No matter who the elected clowns of the circus are ,no matter from which political fraction ,the monkeys play the gimmick’s according to the instructions of the Clowns ,after all, end of the day ,monkey or Clown they are all from the one and same Circus.

  • 1

    Honesty, Sincerity, Credibility and Truthfulness have become alien qualities in our once innocent, kind and humble people.

    That horse has bolted the barn many years ago. Now, its all for themselves and the crooks we have as leaders are simply exploiting the people’s weaknesses for their enrichment.

    During the times of our fathers and grand-fathers, you heard of people resigning from their positions because they refused to partake in illegal and shady deals. Today, you will not find a SINGLE person in Sri Lanka who will say no. Instead, they are longing for the opportunity to do something nefarious.

    The deterioration of societies do not happen overnight. It takes multiple generations, many social pillars to destruct, before such tendencies to take root.

    Insulting, criticising and demeaning one another in these columns is going too boost some of our depleted egos, until tomorrow. It will not change Sri Lanka or her people one bit!

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